Best baby baths 2021: Tubs that support your newborn while bathing

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Bathing your baby for the first time is a beautiful, yet terrifying experience. How hot should the water be? How deep? How hard should you scrub them? Can you use soap?

Babies are so ridiculously slippery and wriggly you need eight hands to hold them securely and another three to wash and entertain them.

But finding the perfect baby bath can make it a whole lot easier. We recommend bathing them with a newborn bath or bath support to leave your hands free for washing during the first six months. Once they can sit up unassisted, they can go into a bigger tub with a non-slip mat.

Need some tips from us old pros? Make bath time 10 minutes maximum for the first six months; get everything you need to hand before putting baby in the bath so you don’t have to leave the room for anything; and don’t worry about bathing small babies every single day.

Baby bath manufacturer Shnuggle has some advice on choosing a baby bath: “Some are standalone baby bath tubs while others are bath positioners that are placed into your bath. Standalone tubs will give you a lot more flexibility to bathe baby anywhere in the home, or indeed in a home that does not have a bath. It can also be portable, meaning trips away and grandparent visits are catered for.

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“A bath that offers as much support as possible will really help give you the confidence needed and also keep baby comfortable and happy. Babies prefer a slightly more upright position for bath time, especially if they suffer from a little colic and, as they become a little more alert, they like to be able to see around them.“

We tested these baths on babies of varying ages, looking for ease of use for parents, comfort and safety for babies, quality and value.

The best baby baths for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Moby smart sling 3-stage tub: £37.80, Johnlewis.com
  • Best with bum bump – Shnuggle baby bath with plug and foam backrest: £24.95, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for comfort – Anglecare soft touch bath support: £27.99, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best for travelling – Stokke flexibath: £57, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for small bathrooms – Cheeky Rascals bath support: £37.88, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for fun in the tub – Munchkin white hot inflatable duck tub: £12.89, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best value – Boots baby bath: £9.49, Boots.com
  • Best for style – Camélé’o baby bath: £35, Beaba.co.uk
  • Best for reluctant bathers – Infantino whale bubble ball inflatable bath tub: £16.63, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for support – Nuby newborn baby bath support: £19.99, Amazon.co.uk

Moby smart sling 3-stage tub

Best: Overall

This bath ticks the fun box and is also designed to last from newborn to toddler with three comfy stages. The mesh smart sling cradles tiny babies completely, locks down as they start to support themselves and can be removed when they can sit up. It has a handy hook for hanging on towel rails or shower heads.

We love the design and the versatility – it adjusts to fit your child perfectly so will last a long time. It works in a shower tray which is handy if you don’t have a bath tub. The price is right, too.

Shnuggle baby bath with plug and foam backrest

Best: With bum bump

This bucket-like bath can be used in a regular tub or on its own. It now has a plug to easily refresh the bath water, too. We like how baby sits up in this bath and how it will last from birth to 12 months.

The bum bump keeps even the teeniest babies from slipping into the water. Our little tester loved sitting upright. We love the range of colour options and the fact that the water stays warm for longer and that you don’t need to fill a whole bath. It can even be used in a shower tray, which is handy. We think it’s great value because it can be used right up to toddler age.

Angelcare soft touch bath support

Best: For comfort

This newborn baby bath support looks so comfy, we wish there was an adult version. The soft TPE material supports the baby and warms up quickly to match the water temperature. There is a handy water level indicator to show you exactly how deep to fill your bath. The support simply sits in your tub and when you’re finished it has a hook to hang it up to dry.

We love the ergonomic design and how easy it is to use. Our little tester seemed very comfy and secure in it. It isn’t the cheapest bath, but is excellent quality and can be passed down to siblings.

Stokke flexibath

Best: For travelling

This genius design manages to fold flat and also be watertight and sturdy – perfect for travelling or for those with smaller bathrooms. It has a newborn support for babies which can be removed for children up to four years. It also has a non-slip base and a heat-sensitive plug which changes colour to show when the water is getting warmer. We love the variety of colours and sizes it comes in.

It’s not cheap, but it will last for years, so you will get a lot of use from it. It is very compact once folded and is very light – great for travelling.

Cheeky Rascals bath support

Best: For small bathrooms

This bath support is super slim and sleek, taking up hardly any precious bathroom space, which we love. Baby is safe and secure but also has maximum contact with the water, promoting water confidence and allowing room for a good old splash. It sticks to the bath with suction cups and leaves your hands free to wash baby and play with the rubber ducks. We love the design and the size.

Munchkin white hot inflatable duck tub

Best: For fun in the tub

This inflatable duck bath is a fun transition tub for children from six– 24 months. It is slip proof, has a plug and folds away neatly. It has some impressive safety tech going on too – such as the white hot safety disc which shows the word HOT when the water is too warm.

We all enjoyed bath time with this huge inflatable duck – you would have to have a soul of steel not to quack, sorry, crack a smile. It takes up quite a bit of room once inflated, but deflated it is small enough to pack in a suitcase and take on your travels. It’s great value, too.

Boots baby bath

Best: Value

A great value choice for basic bathers or for storing at the grandparents. It works from birth up to 19 months, has a plug for easy drainage and also boasts spaces to store soap and sponges so they don’t get lost in the bubbles.

It doesn’t have a bum bump so you need to hold on to newborns, but is great for older babies who can sit up. We love that it saves water by not having to fill up the whole tub.

Camele’o baby bath

Best: For style

This looks comfy and stylish and has a shower head support so you can use it in a bath or shower cubicle. It is on the larger side, but has a plug so you don’t need to wrench your back tipping the water out.

We think this will look great in a larger bathroom and found the shower head support really handy in preventing any snaking hoses. The non-slip cover is great, too.

Infantino whale bubble ball inflatable bath tub

Best: For reluctant bathers

This wins points for being the most fun bath with its 10 floating balls and jingly whale tail. It is for children aged six months and up and is a great way to transition them into using the big bath tub. Simply blow it up, place in your regular bath tub and fill with warm water. When you’re done, it has a simple plug to pull. It deflates and folds away easily but is it fun enough to warrant blowing it up every bath time, or living with an inflatable whale in your bathroom?

Actually, the answer is yes, it looks great, our little testers loved it and it gives a holiday vibe to bath times, which is great for coaxing reluctant bathers into the tub. We had fun too, and liked the price.

Nuby newborn baby bath support

Best: For support

This baby bath is great for little tiddlers up to six months. Simply place it in your regular tub. The soft grey fabric supports and cocoons the baby and dries quickly. The maximum water level indicator tells you exactly how deep to fill the bath.

This is great value and the ergonomic design is very easy to use. The material is lovely and soft and our little tester looked very snuggly in it.

The verdict: Baby baths

We found the most important factor for us was longevity – a bath that adapts to suit our little bathers as they grow. This is why the Moby smart sling is our winner as it adjusts to fit three different stages, perfectly.

It is safe, secure and looks cute too. Our top tip is to think about where you will be bathing your baby and choose accordingly – there are a lot of excellent options out there.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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